The Start of a Siege
"How's your research coming along?" Logg asked when he saw his diligent disciple.
"Your disciple is truly foolish... The internal structure of the cannons is far too complicated. I still don't understand much about the complex power lines and the stabilization of the fire crystal." Though he seemed a little ashamed, he was actually not that down about it.
The complexity of that design was something Saron had never seen before. Putting him aside, even the principal of the school of magic wouldn't be able to figure anything out.
However, the old principal didn't care. It didn't matter that he couldn't figure the design out. He was still able to claim to be the creator of the cannons, anyway.
After all, those cannons had to come from somewhere. Yet, Logg kept himself in the palace without bothering with worldly affairs, so the principal couldn't be happier to bask in his glory.
That was how others came to be told that the principal was the creator of the magic cannons. His reputation shot up as a result and soon eclipsed that of the head of the imperial court magi, Myr. He was no officially the most powerful magus on Chino.
Most laughably, however, was how the so-called designer still wasn't able to comprehend the details of the design one bit. Saron was thankful that he didn't end up becoming a disciple of that second-rate magus.
"Alright." Logg merely acknowledged Saron's results without much comment. He looked at Saron and suddenly asked, "Do you know about the youngest magic consultant of Hocke's court magi association, Annelotte?"
"You mean the champion of the last tournament and the daughter of the galestorm swordsaint?"
"I have heard something about her."
"Who do you think is stronger? You or her?" Logg asked.
"I wonder which aspect you are referring to, teacher?"
"Any aspect. Let's compare all of them. I want to hear your evaluation about it."
"In terms of raw power, I believe that I am stronger. Even though my magic stratum is still at the 17th, I've already broken through to the high-order in my warrior training three months ago. I heard that while Annelotte is a rare magical genius, so her understanding of magic itself and its uses might be better than mine. Regardless, I believe that given my advantage as a warrior and ability to use impetus, I can kill her cleanly in a one-on-one fight."
Logg didn't comment on that analysis either. He looked at his disciple and patted his shoulder. "It's great that you are confident. How long before you sortie again?"
"Around one month or so. We're going on a covert operation and the empire is being really careful about it."
"Alright. Continue to do your best. Golden Eagle Alissanda, Leguna Dark Requiem and Annelotte are the young talents of Hocke. However, I believe that you, my disciple, are the strongest among them all," Logg encouraged.
"I will definitely not let your hopes down!" Even someone as stellar as Saron only rarely got praise from Logg. He was really moved and he couldn't wait to show his teacher his determination.
Logg gave some simple pointers to Saron about the designs before returning to his room to continue his research.
In another month, everything should be starting, right?
The sudden siege began during dawn. Leguna and Annelotte reported their successful mission after they returned. The old general seemed to be really concerned for their mission and was still analyzing the layout of Seatide without the slightest intention on sleeping.
"How did it go?" Manhattan asked with joy when he saw that they were unscathed. The mission seemed to have gone well.
Leguna shot Annelotte a glance before he smiled. "We're fortunate we managed it!"
The two discussed before that even though the appearance of the myth-rank magus was odd, they believed that the magus wouldn't lie to them. More importantly, Annelotte left a fixed eagle eye spell on one of the cannons. The spell was augmented to have staggering range. Even after returning to the camp, she could still weakly sense the surroundings of that cannon.
According to her spell, everything was normal. Nobody discovered that their weapon had been sabotaged.
With that proof, they decided to report that the mission was a success. Manhattan made up his mind immediately and called for the soldiers to sortie.
The Hockian camp grew merrier all of a sudden. The warriors hurried to gear up and get into line. In a short half hour, Manhattan already finished delegating the tasks for the siege. He had pondered over the matter multiple times before and no longer hesitated when he gave the orders. After that, the Hockian forces swarmed for Seatide.
"What are those foolish northerners planning to do?" the Stokian guard on the walls said relaxedly, "Don't panic, brothers. Position the magic cannons properly. We'll blast their half-asleep heads awake!"
"Yes, Sir!" the soldiers roared with high morale.
"Aim seven 700 meters ahead! Prepare..." The commanding officer had the cannons aim at Kurdak's first infantry company. Thanks to Londo's influence, the first infantry company was the most courageous and suicidal of all three companies under Kurdak's command.
They were like his ravenous wolves. With one point from Kurdak, Londo charged forward with the other wolves.
Fortunately, Kurdak kept a clear head throughout his battles. Even though the first company often charged into battle, their casualty rate wasn't ridiculously high. Instead, thanks to the repeated grinding and tempering, they became his most effective unit. Their average stratum was around seven! It could be said to be mostly comprised of mid-order warriors!
Londo was the commander of the first company and had risen to the 14th stratum after the past half year of battle. As the commander and the strongest fighter in the unit, he always led the charge with his brothers.
Given his huge physique and loud cries, he would always be the target for enemy attacks. Had it not been for his unreal constitution and vitality, he would've died a few times over in the battles.
"Charge! Take revenge for our commander! The first unit must be the first one to reach the walls of Seatide!" Londo roared. Thanks to Kurdak's injuries, his brigade hadn't seen much action in the past half month. They did nothing but train day and night and that irritated Londo greatly. Now, he could finally stretch his wings and he gave it his 200 percent.
"Fire!" The Stokian commanding officer waved his hand down, but he didn't hear the familiar sound of the cannons firing. Instead, a cannon not far away exploded!
"Commander, the magic cannons aren't reacting!" reported a cannon-operating soldier.
"The hell?! What about the other cannons?" The officer felt that something was off.
"Sir, most of our cannons aren't functioning! Only one can barely fire, but it's only half as powerful as usual!" reported the soldier in a hurry.
"Get that old magus here right now! Blow the horn signal for an urgent situation! Ignore the cannons, arm yourselves up and prepare to face the enemy!" decided the officer immediately. However, how would they be able to resist the wave of Hockian troops with their tens of men on the walls?
Not long after, Hocke's catapults were pushed into range. Those old contraptions were far inferior to the magic cannons in terms of power and range. But now that the cannons weren't working, they could finally be put to use.
"Taste our stones!" shouted a sapper as he pulled the trigger and flung the projectile. The heavy rock flew towards the wall. Even though no enemy was hit, it terrified the defenders enough to keep their heads low.
"Damn, ballistae! Deal with those things first!" shouted the officer. He was quite thankful that there were some sentry ballistae left on the walls. If they didn't even have them, Hocke conquering the city was only a matter of time.
"Archers, get ready!" The officer himself drew a bow and stood high up on the walls. "Ready..."
But before he could say fire, Londo let out a chilling war cry. He drew a javelin from his back and flung it to the officer with all his strength and impetus.
The poor fellow was of the 10th stratum, but he was still weak like paper before the beastly Londo. The javelin pierced the officer's chest and killed him before he was able to finish giving the order.
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